The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day029.03

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day029.03
Last-Modified: 2000/07/25

.          P-18

        ausrottung, the extermination of the Jews -- your
        translation -- is he reliable or not?
   A.   It depends precisely what he is saying.  As I said, he is
        in some respects reliable and in some respects he is not.
        If you let me see the passage you wish to ask me about,
        then, of course, I will comment on it.
   Q.   It is a very short line.  You translated it yourself only
        a very few days ago.  We are not going back to ----
   A.   Please, if you wish me to comment on a passage, my Lord, I
        think ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  There are two points.  You can have it if you
        like, but I think the two points are (1) is the reference
        to millions of Jews having been killed and the other is a
        reference to gassing.  We can look at the document if you like?
   A.   I probably have it in front of me here somewhere.
        I promise I am not going to use the tactics that have been
        used by the Defence witnesses throughout this case of
        constantly relying, asking to see the documents.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, well, if you want to see it, we can see it.
   A.   In this particular case, I am asked for an impression and
        I ought to have a look at the original document.
   MR RAMPTON:  If you would like to look at page 5 of your own
        translation, it is just above and below your page
        reference 00032.  I am quite happy with your translation,

.          P-19

        so we need not bother with the German.
   A.   Page 5, right?
   Q.   Fifth page.  I do not know where it is.
   A.   Yes, I have it.  It is page 00031 or 32.
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   "From what we survey today", is this right?
   Q.   Yes, I will read it, if I may:  "From what we survey
        today, there were perhaps 70 men, all told, from Himmler
        to Hoess who were involved in the extermination of the
        Jews", and you give the German, Juden ausrottung.
         "General Wolff also saw Bormann who was definitely
        actively involved in these things together with Hoess, the
        former Famer murderer.  Bormann and Himmler", handwritten
        insert "Wolff probably", "represented the view that the
        Jewish problem had to be dealt with without Hitler getting
        his fingers dirty in the process.  The gassing idea", and
        that means gassing of human beings, does it not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   "... probably emerged when a genuine epidemic broke out in
        the Auschwitz camp and mass dying resulted". Can we rely
        on General Wolff as telling the truth in that passage so
        far as the extermination of Jews by gassing is concerned?
   A.   It is the curate's egg, if you know the expression,
        Mr Rampton.
   Q.   Yes, Mr Irving, I am nearly as old as you are.
   A.   The figure of 70 is clearly wrong.  That is clearly an

.          P-20

        understatement.  Far more than 70 men all told were
        initiated in the mass killing of Jews by the Nazis.
        Depending on what he means by that, regardless of what he
        means by that, whether he is talking about just the
        Auschwitz and the killings of the western European Jews or
        if he is talking about the shootings on the East.  I think
        here he is talking about the first.  He is talking only
        about the killing of the European Jews.
   Q.   Come on.  He uses the word "gassing".
   A.   Yes.  That is precisely what I am mentioning.  That is why
        I am saying that.  The gassing idea.  Now, that part
        I think he is clearly commenting on what he now knows,
        1952, after seven years of reading newspapers.
   Q.   Yes.  Oh really?
   A.   Yes.  But also he is  involved -- if he read the Harold
        Turner letter, of course, from Serbia, then he would have
        been aware of gassings on a small scale in Serbia.
   Q.   Not in relation, Mr Irving, to a reference to Auschwitz as
        having been the source of the gassing because, if it was
        Auschwitz and disease there that gave rise to the idea, as
        General Wolff suggests, then the substance used for the
        gassing in consequence of the realization of that idea
        would have been prussic acid, would it not?
   A.   Yes, Zyklon-B.
   Q.   Thank you.   Now I want to go back to this Milton thing.
        I am going to make a suggestion, you will deal it with it

.          P-21

        and then we can pass on to something else.  I suggest to
        you that, so far from, as it were, approaching this matter
        as a serious historian would be and asking your audience
        to be critical about eyewitness accounts, had you done
        that, you would have paid attention to the serious
        eyewitness accounts, so far from doing that, what you are
        doing is feeding the anti-Semitism of your audience by
        mocking the survivors and indeed the dead from the Holocaust?
   A.   I do not think that in that fragment we saw, and of course
        I do not know else is in the rest of the speech.
   Q.   Assholes?
   A.   I think I am right in referring -- do you wish me to deal
        with that matter or the matter you just asked me about?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Finish your answer.
   MR RAMPTON:  You finish the answer and I will draw your
        attention to that.  Carry on.  You finish your answer, I
        am sorry.
   A.   I think that the word "Jew" or the reference to "Jews" was
        not made in that fragment, and of course very many other
        people suffered the torment of Auschwitz.  I do not know
        why you just single out the Jews for this particular comment.
   Q.   I see.  Here we are talking about Polish gentiles, are
        we?  This telephone box and the sedan chair and all that
        kind of thing?

.          P-22

   A.   I think the reference is to Poles, yes.  Thank you for
        reminding me.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can I ask you, because I am not quite clear,
        Mr Irving?  You say there was one eyewitness who told the
        story about the mobile telephone box?
   A.   There are sheaves of stories like this which came out in
        various trials, right up to the to 1960s.
   Q.   Focus on my question.  I think you did say earlier on, in
        answer to Mr Rampton, that there was one eyewitness who
        told the story of the telephone box?
   A.   Yes, that is one of the stories that is told.
   Q.   Yes.  I just want you to focus on that one eyewitness.
        Did you read it or hear it?  How did you come to know about it?
   A.   This was probably ten years ago and I have to say that,
        having read large numbers of documents at that time and
        having read very large numbers of documents more recently,
        I cannot say whether I saw the actual eyewitness
        interrogation, or whether it has become part of the law
        through being quoted in the Frankfurt trial by the defence
        or prosecution.  It is certainly part of the folk law, if
        I can put it like that in a non-derogatory way,
        surrounding the Auschwitz killings, rather like the
        conveyor belt and the rest of it, that is known to
        historians on both sides of the divide.  Yesterday
        evening, when I got home, I did put out an appeal to my

.          P-23

        world wide circle of historian friends to say, who can
        provide me with the actual document.
   Q.   Has anything come up as a result of that?
   A.   By this morning, when I checked the e-mails, one person
        came up with a reference to a one man portable low
        temperature chamber that was being developed and that was
        being spoken.
   Q.   That is obviously not it, is it?
   A.   Not yet, no.
   Q.   You have not been able to pinpoint where this comes from?
   A.   No, but obviously I have put wheels in motion to obtain
        the actual document, because of the value it would have
        for the court.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.  Sorry, Mr Rampton.
   MR RAMPTON:  I just put these remarks of yours in context, if
        I may, Mr Irving.  You say you were talking only about
        gentile Poles that escaped from Auschwitz.  Let us read on
        on page 18.
   A.   I did not say I was only talking about Poles.  My actual
        remark was that I did not talk about Jews in that
        particular fragment.  You then said Poles.
   Q.   Shall we put the fragment in context, Mr Irving?  On page
        16, the page before the one we were looking at, there is a
        lengthy reference at the bottom of the page to somebody
        call called Ely Wiesel.  Is he a Polish gentile or is he a

.          P-24

   A.   I think he is a very well-known Holocaust propagandist, if
        I can put it like that.
   MR RAMPTON:  That is not an answer to my question.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is he a gentile or is he a Jew?
   A.   He is Jewish, so far as I know.
   MR RAMPTON:  Then let us have a look at page 18, from where the
        video stopped.  It is the top of page 18 after the note
        that there was applause.
   A.   I do not have the transcript in front of me and perhaps
        I should.
   MR RAMPTON:  I am sorry.  Then you will need it.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, you should.
   MR RAMPTON:  It is K3, tab 10, page 18.
   A.   Yes.  Ely Wiesel, of course, is one of the people I call
        the spurious survivors of the Holocaust like Benjamin
        Wilkormierski and others, who have made a living out of it.
   Q.   Sandwiched between that Jewish gentleman whom you
        characterize as a spurious survivor of the Holocaust and
        the next passage, which is also about spurious, in your
        view, survivors of the Holocaust, is all this stuff about
        the telephone box.  So let us read page 18, shall we: "Let
        me give you an example of why I think it" -- that is to
        say this imaginary experience -- "is a psychiatric
        problem.  Let me give you a little parable here, a
        biblical parable almost, because in Israel, now the

.          P-25

        Ministry of Justice, announced three or four weeks ago the
        British newspaper, the Independent, reported this news
        communique, that every year 200 tourists go to Jerusalem,
        which is, of course, that magnificent city, this crossing
        point of three different religions and cultures.  They are
        so overwhelmed by these cross currents, these, the vibes
        of the city of Jerusalem, that every year 200 tourists go
        there and believe that they are the messiah reborn and
        returning to Jerusalem.  They cannot all be the messiah.
        At most one of them can be the messiah", and you are not
        talking about Jesus of Nazareth, are you?
   A.   It is quite clear that I am.  This is a genuine statement
        released by the Israeli government.
   Q.   No.
   A.   Carry on.
   Q.   You are talking about the messiah, for whom the Jewish
        people are still waiting, are you not?
   A.   This reminds me of mathematical equations.  You said the
        letter E in an equation can be the exponential factor but
        need not be.  These people could be the messiah, but need
        not be, if I can put it like that.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You call it a parable, do you not?  Come on.
   MR RAMPTON:  "They cannot all be the messiah.  At most, one of
        them can be the messiah, so 199 of them are liars".
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   "But they have had this immense religious experience, and

.          P-26

        it is rather the same kind of trauma as people who went to
        Auschwitz, or people who believed they went to Auschwitz,
        or people who can kid themselves into believing they went
        to Auschwitz, and the only way to overcome this appalling
        pseudo-religious atmosphere that surrounds the whole of
        this immense tragedy called World War II is to treat these
        little legends with the ridicule and the bad taste that
        they deserve.  Ridicule alone is not enough.  You have got
        to be tasteless about it.  You have to say things like
        more women died on the back seat of Senator Edward
        Kennedy's car at Chappaquidick than died in the gas
        chambers of Auschwitz (applause)".
   A.   The applause drowned the rest of the sentence,
        unfortunately, which is "in the gas chambers of Auschwitz
        which are shown to the tourists".  I always say exactly
        the same thing.
   Q.   Oh no, you do not, Mr Irving.  We went through that before.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is it on the video?
   MR RAMPTON:  This is on the video.  Would your Lordship like to
        see it?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, unless it is going to take ages to get
        it going.
   MR RAMPTON:  No, it is not.  It is only the rest of this page
        really.  Just go from where it is.

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